By the end of this chapter you should be able to
- Assess how insolation drives the major physical weathering processes
- Relate major weathering processes to different climates
- Identify evidence of glacial weathering
- 9.1: Weathering Processes
- Weathering is the process by which surface and subsurface rocks disintegrate, dissolve, or are broken down. Rocks at or near the earth's surface are exposed to physical and chemical weathering processes. Weathering is known as an exogenic process because it (like all exogenic systems) is powered by insolation, which drives all systems above the surface of the earth, including the atmosphere, weather, and ice which are also influenced by the earth's gravity.
Thumbnail: Talus cones produced by mass wasting, north shore of Isfjord, Svalbard, Norway. Image used with permission (Public Domain; Wilson44691).